By Hans Olson
On February 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto will meet again, the highly anticipated rematch to be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing. Tickets go on-sale this Saturday.
In their first thriller, Ortiz outpointed then-unbeaten Berto with ringside scores of 114-111, 114-112, and 115-110, taking away Berto’s WBC welterweight championship in the process.
Roaring out in the first round of their first meeting, Ortiz fought like a man possessed, dropping Berto early on. As Berto mounted a comeback, the 6th round brought some of the best action seen in all of 2011 when Berto sent Ortiz to the canvas with a brutal right hand. Not long after, Berto seemed to be on the verge of finishing Victor, referee Mike Ortega taking a close look in the round’s waning final moments. In those final moments however, Ortiz—seemingly out on his feet—miraculously floored Berto with a left as commentator Emmanuel Steward screamed “oh my God!”
It was high drama.
Now, less than a year later…they look to do it again.
Since their first encounter, Berto and Ortiz gone in vastly different directions in their careers. Ortiz immediately became a household name when he signed to fight Floyd Mayweather on September 17 in Las Vegas. With HBO’s hit reality series “24/7,” Ortiz won everybody over, his story of triumph in the face of adversity setting the stage to what would be the biggest night of his career against Floyd.
The night of September 17 however, proved to be a bad one for Ortiz who was knocked out in the 4th round by Mayweather. Just prior, Ortiz had intentionally head-butted Mayweather, instantly being docked a point by referee Joe Cortez. When Ortiz repeatedly wanted to hug and touch gloves, Floyd wanted to fight. He caught Ortiz with his hands down and the young champion was soon a young former-champion.
And although he’ll enter the rematch with Andre Berto without a belt—it will be Ortiz with all the star-power.
Berto’s comeback, although considerably more understated, was also all the more successful. He defeated Slovenia’s Jan Zaveck in a fantastic showing, earning the IBF’s version of the welterweight championship—a belt he recently vacated in order to face Ortiz immediately rather than fulfill a mandatory obligation that would have been due.
Andre Berto wants revenge on Victor Ortiz.
Will he get it?
Victor Ortiz wants to erase the memories of the Floyd Mayweather fight, and reaffirm his first victory over Berto.
Can he do it?
We’ll find out on February 11.